Photos: Kevin Connors
Once a year the city of Las Vegas puts up some stages and invites some of the worst bands on the planet to rock out for some kids with funny haircuts and lip piercings. A few years back, they decided a Pro BMX Dirt Contest would fit in well with all the other nonsense. That is the Extreme Thing.
The city put Vegas local Ricardo Laguna in charge of building the jumps and setting up the entire contest. Ricardo got some pretty hot jumps going and a bunch of dudes from around the world to come out and try to take some money.
The course included a Triple Crown style drop off/roll in, a big first set right into a berm, a hip to the right, a set up jump, and one final huck jump for kids to get stupid on.
Here’s a rundown of the day:
Ryan Nyquist came down to ride the contest, but hurt his hand the day before trying to 360 an un-360able jump at TJ Lavin’s house. He was on hand for the contest, but spent the day sitting under the air-conditioned tent. Word on the street is Nyquist’s got some hot new moves, so it was definitely a let down not getting to see him ride.
Anthony Napoliton had an amazing first run in qualifying that included a huge front flip no hander over the first set, a lookback over the hip, and a 360 double tailwhip over the last set straight to the pedals. It was probably the best run of the day, finals included. Unfortunately, Anthony’s second two runs in the prelims didn’t work out for him so he couldn’t ride finals. Definitely another let down. But, Anthony DID do a front flip invert, and it looked way better than I ever figured that trick could of.
Ryan Guettler made the trip down and was looking pretty solid in practice and in the prelims. He did some big front flips over the first set and plenty of double whips and 720s, but couldn’t quite put it together in the finals. He tried to double whip the hip but couldn’t continue through the set after that and also tried a 360 flip over the last set, but couldn’t get that either. Definitely an off day for Guettler, but he’ll still be destroying everybody else at every other contest this year.
Vegas boys TJ Lavin and contest organizer Ricardo Laguna both rode super consistent and made the city proud. Lavin’s had some amazing style tricks over the hip and has damn near got flip whips on lockdown, and Ricardo had some huge flip no handers over the first set among other things. I believe Laguna and Lavin got the 4th and 5th place spots.
Luke Parslow is the best dirt contest rider on the planet. Flip whips straight to pedals, standing up every time whether it be the first set or last, huge boosted front flips, flip barspin to X-ups…this guys really good.
Mike “Hucker” Clark made the trip to Vegas from SoCal the previous night in the bed of some girl’s Ford Ranger. Hucker rode super consistent and did some of his ridiculous nose dive 360s (with X-ups!), three-whips, 720’s, and finished off his final run with a perfect double flip over the last set. Earlier in the day he said he was done with double flips, but I guess he was just lying. Also, he’s still in high school. Hucker finished off in a well-deserved second place. Not bad, seeing as how he’s never made the finals in a pro contest before.
In the end it was Cory Nastazio who came out on top. I’m pretty sure Nasty hasn’t gotten a first place finish in quite some time, but he’s definitely not done with this BMX game. Huge front flips, superman flip whips, 360 superman whips, superman flips……….. He’s still amazing. Nasty has had enough of the Australian’s taking all of theAmerican’s money and gold medals so he’s doing something about it. If this contest is any sort of foreshadowing for the rest of the year, southern California should be back on top in no time.
Overall, the contest was pretty good and we got to hear plenty of horrid music coming from the stage a few hundred yards away. Also, we got to see a guy in a jet pack fly by. That was definitely the highlight of the day. Jet packs are way more badass than BMX.